Writing the Character-centered Screenplay

Front Cover
University of California Press, 1994 - Characters and characteristics in motion pictures - 218 pages
"We need good screenwriters who understand character." Everywhere Andrew Horton traveled in researching this book--from Hollywood to Hungary--he heard the same refrain. Yet most of the standard how-to books on screenwriting follow the film industry's earlier lead in focusing almost exclusively on plot and formulaic structures.

With this book, Horton, a film scholar and successful screenwriter, provides the definitive work on the character-based screenplay. Exceptionally wide-ranging--covering American, international, mainstream, and "off-Hollywood" films, as well as television--the book offers creative strategies and essential practical information.

Horton begins by placing screenwriting in the context of the storytelling tradition, arguing through literary and cultural analysis that all great stories revolve around a strong central character. He then suggests specific techniques and concepts to help any writer--whether new or experienced--build more vivid characters and screenplays. Centering his discussion around four film examples--including Thelma & Louise and The Silence of the Lambs--and the television series, Northern Exposure, he takes the reader step-by-step through the screenwriting process, starting with the development of multi-dimensional characters and continuing through to rewrite. Finally, he includes a wealth of information about contests, fellowships, and film festivals.

Espousing a new, character-based approach to screenwriting, this engaging, insightful work will prove an essential guide to all of those involved in the writing and development of film scripts.
 

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Writing the character-centered screenplay

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Tired of the hundreds of plot- and structure-oriented script books on the market? Tired of the "formula writing" espoused in an equal number of screen-writing seminars and weekend workshops? Horton ... Read full review

Contents

CHARACTER
23
Analysis of CharacterCentered Scripts
63
NARRATIVE AND STRUCTURE
89
Pitching
113
WRITING
121
LAUNCHING YOUR SCRIPT
177
Coverage
193
SelfCritiques
195
At Long Last the Recipe for a Screenwriters
204
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